Saturday, June 23

Foodbuzz 24x24: Tomales Bay Oyster Picnic

Many moons ago, our friends introduced us to Tomales Bay Oyster Company, an oyster farm and retailer that has an extremely popular picnic area. Groups of people flock from all over the Bay Area to have a BBQ day out here. It is located about an hour North of San Francisco which would be a total of 2 hours North of San Jose. Many things in life have changed since our last outting here, mainly that we moved in together and got married, but Tomales Bay has not changed at all. Last time, I promised that the next time I visit Tomales Bay, I would do the following:
  • bring more people
  • bring more real food and grilling food
  • buy a cheaper oyster shucker elsewhere and bring it
  • premake some oyster shooter toppings 
I am proud to say that this time, I delivered on all the above promises.

I ordered a 50 count bag of large and 50 count bag of extra small but was given Washington medium and smalls because the total was $110.

The bags of oysters are kept fresh in this massive tank behind the counter. Tomales Bay not only sells imports from Washington and other seasonal offerings, but they farm their own oysters as well. It is always good to support the local businesses which was why I ordered the extra small, even if it may not be what the man gave me.

Didn't I say Tomales Bay is very popular? So crowded.

Our group of 12 set up our BBQ picnic at a table and began feasting and drinking galore.

With the small oysters, we ate them raw with a variety of toppings. I prepared 2 mignonettes: watermelon with mint and red wine vinegar and jalapeno peppers with shallots and lemon. There were also lime wedges and tabasco sauce, the good ole classic. Henry got creative (top left) and put chopped green onions, lime, and tabasco on his. He even put all the above AND watermelon mignonette on there. All the toppings were really delicious but the oysters were sweet and fresh au naturel too.

Clockwise from top left:
  1. Papaya salad with carrots, dried cucumbers, kohlrabi, red onions, mint, shredded beef jerky and dressed with seasoned fish sauce.
  2. Watermelon mignonette for raw oysters made with chopped watermelon, mint leaves, red wine vinegar, sugar, and salt.
  3. Grilled chicken drumsticks marinated with fish sauce, soy sauce, water, sugar, garlic powder.
  4. Drinks on ice including variety of beers, one Mexican Pepsi, and water.

 From top left:
  1. Grilled medium oyster
  2. White wine sangria with strawberries and watermelon
  3. Grilled white corn
  4. Watermelon slices
  5.  Red wine sangria with strawberry and watermelon slices
  6. Sliced pork marinated in spicy Korean marinade (which did not turn out spicy at all)
 Next to the watermelon mignonette you can see the jalapeno peppers and shallot mignonette. Both were good in their own ways. Part of the full spread included fried egg noodles with yellow chives. These seemed to be a big hit. The salad was also a big hit but I made so much of it. Who knew one medium papaya would yield a large bowl of salad?!

We grilled the larger oysters along with some chicken drumsticks and corn.

The oysters are done on the grill once they pop open. Phil helped pry them fully open for easier eating.

 Wowzas! A huge oyster!

 I was disappointed in my white wine sangria which I made for the first time. Consolidating inspiration from various recipes online, I decided to put ginger ale in the drink. This was not a smart choice since it turned out bitter. Maybe some sugar, and a few hours in the refridgerator would help.

The pork was also a bit bland but I took the remainder home and will try to save it somehow.

Overall, a good time was had by all. This was a makeup birthday celebration for me and my birthday twin Dio was also there to relive his birthday. Everyone had a good time and some sunburns were had by all...

Look at this guy, he has a bottle opener on his hat. Genius and comes in so handy.

Happy birthday Dio!

On the count of 3, say "Asians having a picnic!"...

Thanks to my friends who came out to celebrate and for helping me cook/eat/take photos. Thanks for reading and visiting our picnic. Have a great week everyone!

*Thank you to Foodbuzz for this great opportunity to host one of June's 24x24 parties. The 24x24 program requires 24 chosen bloggers to host 24 parties on the same day. I'm so excited to know that there are 23 other bloggers who dined well today too.

Tomales Bay Website. Limit 10 to a table, groups of 15+ need to make a reservation which is $150/table.

All recipes for the menu above are posted in separate links on my printable recipes site. I was heavy handed on the salt for all of my dishes so go a little lighter. Hope it works out for you.


  1. It was a yummy day for sure! Told my parents about it, and now they want to get together some other relatives to have another big picnic/oyster fest there. :)

  2. Congratulations on being selected for the foodbuzz 24X24! Looks like fun was had by all.

  3. You did a great job organizing this! Thanks for allowing me to be part of this event. I now know that there are many different ways to eat oysters (besides with Tabasco). I will definitely remember this event!

  4. The raw oysters were hella good. Can't believe you pulled this off.



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